I've always lived in a world where bigger is better. We always had to have a new car, or a new toy, or whatever. That's never set totally right with me, but I've more or less accepted it as "how it is". Today, I ran across something online about people who live in tiny homes, 400 sq ft or less. This appeals to me in so many ways. It's cheaper and a simpler, more frugal (manlier, in my opinion) way of life. It frees you up to travel some, if you have something on a trailer. It's more environmentally friendly, and despite earlier postings about jeeps and trucks and gas guzzling, I would like to be more environmentally aware and I think taking care of our earth is a manly ideal. I've heard in some places there are code restrictions on sizes of homes and thats why some build on trailers, but I don't know that I'd want it to be on a trailer. How can I find out more about these things? Also, does anyone live this way? I know it requires a lifestyle change, and that's something I'm willing to do. Can you tell me about your experience, where you got your micro home (did you build it, have it built for you and delivered, or already there when you bought your home?) and also any possible alternatives that would be a kind of off the grid type of life? Urban Minimalism is more what I'm curious about as well, since I'm living in a city...I am willing to move out into a more rural area, it all just depends.
This video is relevant to your interests.
Thank you. That was very helpful.
Bump. Sometimes I feel like the stuff I have contributes to my unhappiness. That's why I'm interested in minimalism. I see how someone could receive great pleasure from waking up in an uncluttered, clean space. Go outside and drink a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise. Go for a run. I want to live a happier life and I feel like maybe reducing what I have and living simpler is the way to go. Any thoughts on that?
You can do all that without living in a 400 sq. ft. shack. (I've got three kids ... I don't know where I'd put 'em). Hell -- if you want to watch the sun rise with a cup of coffee, its nice to have a porch to sit on, and a view to look at.
I appreciate an uncluttered life and a clean living space. To the extent possible with three kids under seven, I have that -- house is clean, space is empty, and there's not much clutter for long. I certainly believe you shouldn't buy stuff you can't afford. I just don't think true minimalism is required to achieve that. It is partially true that the things you own end up owning you -- if you let them. Minimalism is an extreme response ... moderation and sensible frugality is probably more reasonable.
I had a great aunt that was extremely "frugal" -- to the point that she washed, dried and reused paper towels and tin foil. That kinda stuff is more trouble than its worth.
I don't have any kids and I'm not planning on it anytime soon. I'm not talking about being extremely frugal to the point of washing paper towels. I'm talking about not letting things I own own me, but I don't know how to accomplish that yet. I just want to live simply, and I want to own a home but right now, I don't think owning a traditional home is practical or affordable. That being said, thank you for your input, and do you have any clues on how to not end up being owned by the things I own?
Having more or less space has very little to do with your happiness. You can be as equally unhappy in a small and empty space as you can in an episode of hoarders. Living minimally appeals to me as well, but not as a method of obtaining happiness within. Go minimal because you appreciate that lifestyle not because you think minimalism in and of itself will make you happy.
My understanding of minimalism and making it work is figuring out your interests and how you like to do things before you can scale back on most everything else.
But there's tons of stuff out there....
I think the best maxim for this sort of thing is "don't have anything in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful", I have absolutely no idea who the originator of this quote was but
I have a bad habit of hoarding books, thankfully I moved country recently and had to clear out a lot of them. Between selling, charity shop and recycling I managed to clear 24 feet of bookshelves. Also 6 carloads of old papers and such went to the dump/recycling. I arrived in my new home with 2 bags and there are 5 boxes of things I'm not willing to give up somewhere in the Atlantic at the moment.
I've just accumulated a bunch of...junk honestly over the past 10 years. I've gone through it and thrown so much of it away, given it away, recycled it, and it feels so good but I'm not nearly done yet. I love books and that's one thing I don't plan on getting rid of. I like that saying. Thanks for your input.
For seven years, I planned to take a vow of poverty. It got me into the really good habit of questioning every acquisition. I like Smyth's line. In this regard, two lessons I learned:
1. It's every acquisition, not every purchase. I have recently learned that women give, and therefore receive, more gifts, but gifts were harder to deal with than purchases. You just have to learn to get things you would never acquire on your own out of your living space.
2. The beauty part is important. Don't have absolutely everything be purely functional. Have things that elevate the spirit, too. Well-made functional things are one route. Art books are another.
If you look at people who live in very small spaces, or just Europeans, who have smaller living quarters than Americans, it really is a lifestyle. The first thing I think about is food. Living with just a hot plate and mini fridge means more meals out and more shopping trips for food. There's more free time spent outside the home, too. No entertaining. Usually the lower rent makes up for the increased food and entertainment costs, but it's hard to put a number of having to go to the store 3x/week.
You have a very good points about both maintaining the spirit and a life lived away from the house.